8th Day of Simbanggabi (December 23)

Gospel Reading

Luke 1:57-66

The Birth of John
57Now the time came for Elizabeth to give birth, and she bore a son. 58Her neighbors and relatives heard that the Lord had shown his great mercy to her, and they rejoiced with her.

The Circumcision and the Naming of John
59On the eighth day they came to circumcise the child, and they were going to name him Zechariah after his father.  60But his mother said, “No; he is to be called John.” 61They said to her, “None of your relatives has this name.” 62Then they began motioning to his father to find out what name he wanted to give him.  63He asked for a writing tablet and wrote, “His name is John.” And all of them were amazed.  64Immediately his mouth was opened and his tongue freed, and he began to speak, praising God.

65Fear came over all their neighbors, and all these things were talked about throughout the entire hill country of Judea. 66All who heard them pondered them and said, “What then will this child become?”  For, indeed, the hand of the Lord was with him.

Read more8th Day of Simbanggabi (December 23)

7th Day of Simbanggabi (December 22)

Gospel Reading:

46And Mary said,

Mary Praises God
“My soul magnifies the Lord,
47and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior,
48for he has looked with favor on the lowliness of his servant. Surely, from now on all generations will call me blessed; 49for the Mighty One has done great things for me, and holy is his name.

God’s Deeds to “those who fear Him”

50His mercy is for those who fear him from generation to generation.
51He has shown strength with his arm; he has scattered the proud in the thoughts of their hearts.
52He has brought down the powerful from their thrones, and lifted up the lowly;
53he has filled the hungry with [of] good things, and sent the rich away empty.

God’s Deeds to Israel

54He has helped his servant Israel, in remembrance of his mercy,

55according to the promise he made to our ancestors,

to Abraham and to his descendants forever.”

56And Mary remained with her about three months and then returned to her home.

Read more7th Day of Simbanggabi (December 22)

Dr. Robert Baboian, corrosion scientist and long-time volunteer to SSBCFI, dies at 80

Corrosion scientist and long-time volunteer to San Sebastian Basilica Conservation Foundation most widely known as a chief figure in the Statue of Liberty National Monument restoration, his work with NASA – National Aeronautics and Space Administration and contribution to corrosion engineering as author and editor of over 13 books and 150 technical publications. With heavy but grateful hearts, we say goodbye to our friend, Dr. Robert Baboian.

Read moreDr. Robert Baboian, corrosion scientist and long-time volunteer to SSBCFI, dies at 80

4th Sunday of Advent (5th & 6th day of Simbanggabi)

Gospel Reading

Lk 1:39-45

 39In those days Mary set out and went with haste to a Judean town in the hill country,

 40where she entered the house of Zechariah and greeted Elizabeth.  41When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the child leaped in her womb.  

And Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit42and exclaimed with a loud cry, “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb.

43And why has this happened to me, that the mother of my Lord comes to me?  44For as soon as I heard the sound of your greeting, the child in my womb leaped for joy.  45And blessed is she who believed that there would be a fulfillment of what was spoken to her by the Lord.”

Read more4th Sunday of Advent (5th & 6th day of Simbanggabi)

4th day of Simbanggabi (December 19)

Gospel Reading

Lk 1:5-25

Zechariah and Elizabeth
5In the days of King Herod of Judea, there was a priest named Zechariah, who belonged to the priestly order of Abijah. His wife was a descendant of Aaron, and her name was Elizabeth.
6Both of them were righteous before God, living blamelessly according to all the commandments and regulations of the Lord. 7But they had no children, because Elizabeth was barren, and both were getting on in years.

8Once when he was serving as priest before God and his section was on duty, 9he was chosen by lot, according to the custom of the priesthood, to enter the sanctuary of the Lord and offer incense.

The Temple Ministry of Zechariah (A Vision)
10Now at the time of the incense offering, the whole assembly of the people was praying outside. 11Then there appeared to him an angel of the Lord, standing at the right side of the altar of incense. 12When Zechariah saw him, he was terrified; and fear overwhelmed him.

13But the angel said to him, “Do not be afraid, Zechariah, for your prayer has been heard. Your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you will name him John.
14You will have joy and gladness, and many will rejoice at his birth, 15for he will be great in the sight of the Lord. He must never drink wine or strong drink; even before his birth he will be filled with the Holy Spirit.
16He will turn many of the people of Israel to the Lord their God. 17With the spirit and power of Elijah he will go before him, to turn the hearts of parents to their children, and the disobedient to the wisdom of the righteous, to make ready a people prepared for the Lord.”

18Zechariah said to the angel, “How will I know that this is so? For I am an old man, and my wife is getting on in years.”

19The angel replied, “I am Gabriel. I stand in the presence of God, and I have been sent to speak to you and to bring you this good news. 20But now, because you did not believe my words, which will be fulfilled in their time, you will become mute, unable to speak, until the day these things occur.”

21Meanwhile the people were waiting for Zechariah, and wondered at his delay in the sanctuary.  22When he did come out, he could not speak to them, and they realized that he had seen a vision in the sanctuary. He kept motioning to them and remained unable to speak.
23When his time of service was ended, he went to his home.

The Disgrace taken out of Elizabeth
24After those days his wife Elizabeth conceived, and for five months she remained in seclusion. She said, 25“This is what the Lord has done for me when he looked favorably on me and took away the disgrace I have endured among my people.”

Read more4th day of Simbanggabi (December 19)